Lindariel: Visions from the Hall of Fire

A place to post and discuss your own Tolkien inspired art and poetry.
Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:41 pm

I love it Lindariel :clapping: ! How wonderful to have Estel being taught how to use Athelas at Elrond's side. It's so beautifully written :D .

Really looking foward to the next part when everyone has had a chance to read this one!
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marbretherese
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Postby marbretherese » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:40 pm

Iolanthe wrote: It's so beautifully written :D .


Yes, isn't it? I never thought much of fan fiction until I read this story. I've completely changed my mind!
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Thu Mar 19, 2009 6:30 pm

Thank you so much, ladies. Your comments are very encouraging.

No doubt you have noticed the not-so-subtle ties between this story and my essay about Aragorn's healing abilities and athelas. Much is made in the Professor's tale about Aragorn being the heir of Isildur and Elendil, but I would think that for Elrond the far more immediate and personal connection is that this child Estel is the heir of his long dead twin brother Elros, the first King of Numenor.

I'll post another installment tomorrow. Trying not to be TOO impatient. There are about 10-12 installments already written about little Lindariel, and I'm hoping the feedback from this site will encourage me to get back into my creative writing after about a two-year hiatus.

Again, you are MOST kind!
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:59 am

That would be fantastic - it's definitely a story that should be finished. If this helped you get back into it, it would be great :D .

I like your idea that Elrond would connect Aragorn with Elros - it's not something I've ever thought about!
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:54 pm

Here's installment #2 -- meet my vision of Elladan.


A Cry in the Night -- Part II

In his father's study, Elladan paced restlessly, unable to relax in his favorite chair by the fire or to concentrate long on the documents in his hands. From the crashes and bangs that emanated from the courtyard, he could tell that Elrohir was taking out his rage and frustration on the targets in his elaborate obstacle course, and though Elladan longed to join his brother, he knew his place was here.

Their patrol, which had been intended as a ceremonial escort to greet and provide additional security for Thranduil's emissary, had instead come upon a massacre in progress. The caravan had been ambushed and forced into one of the many deep, narrow ravines cutting through the moors sloping up to the Misty Mountains. They had heard the fierce battle cries of the elven warriors that made up the emissary's bodyguard while still many miles away, and though they had pressed the horses to the limit of their stamina, they were too late.

The orc marauders were already engaged in pillaging the caravan and despoiling the bodies of the dead, and the onslaught of the twins and the Dunedain was swift and merciless. Not a single orc was left alive, and it had taken all of Elladan's strength to prevent Elrohir from hacking the detestable carcasses to pieces in his battle frenzy.

The raven-haired warrior's features contorted as the unbidden memories returned to torture him. The scene had been all too familiar, as the centuries washed away. Once again, he could smell the festering, stinking orc cave where they had tracked his mother's kidnappers and feel the blood-rage as he sliced through the battalion of orcs with his brother and their Dunedain companions, desperately searching for any surviving captives from Celebrían's ambushed cortege. Then, as the bellows and death shrieks of the orcs subsided, came the faint but pitiful screams of their beloved mother. Frantically, they searched through the foul twisting tunnels until at last they found her.

"No!" wailed Elladan, dropping to his knees, Thranduil's letters, dispatch, and caravan records scattering to the floor from his nerveless hands. Again he saw the blood . . . the poisoned arrow protruding from her side . . . the ragged remnants of her traveling garb . . . the raw flesh where she had struggled against her bonds . . . the horrible bruises and jagged claw marks all over her delicate body. But what made his blood run cold were her eyes -- glassy, bulging, mindless -- as she screamed and struggled against his loving touch. Eyes that did not know him; eyes that saw only more tormentors.

In desperation, they had drugged the Lady of Imladris to keep her from hurting herself and then wrapped her ravaged form in his best cloak to begin the frantic journey home. But while the Dunedain were hastily constructing a traveling pallet for their injured Lady and caring for her wounds as best they could, the pain and fury the twins had been holding in check over-mastered them. As one, they screeched their fiercest battle cries and rushed into the cave, hacking, slashing, crushing every orc body in sight and finally setting the entire cavern ablaze from the lowest tunnel to the main guard chamber.

They came to their senses amid the carnage of the entryway, covered in orc blood from head to toe. He did not know his brother. He did not know himself. With an anguished cry, he cast aside his weapons and rushed to the nearby mountain spring, ripping his clothing as he ran and plunging, naked, headlong into the icy water. After several moments, strong arms dragged him from the stream and wrapped him tightly in a rough woolen blanket. He became aware that a fire had been kindled, and looking up, he saw Hurin and Beregond washing his dazed brother on the bank of the stream.

In a soft, firm tone, Aragost, Captain of the Dunedain, whispered respectfully into his ear, "My Lord Elladan, I cannot begin to imagine your anguish and rage, and my heart burns for your mother's torment. But I beg you, my brother, my friend, you must regain your senses for your sake and for hers. I hardly know you now, and the sight of your fury would send her to her grave. And think also of Elrohir. You know well that he is far more impulsive and rash than you; you must help us control him or he will lose his reason. Come, I have brought clean garb. The other we have burned."

When Elladan saw the pity and distress in Aragost's eyes, he collapsed weeping against the tall man's shoulder for a few brief minutes. Then with a great gasp and a violent shake of his head, he threw off the blanket and hastily dressed. Kneeling before Elrohir, he looked into his twin's fierce eyes and slapped him firmly across the face -- once, twice, thrice. "Enough, my brother, enough!" he shouted, as Elrohir twisted to strike him back. "Enough! We cannot undo what has happened!" and the blow turned into a desperate embrace, as the two brothers wept in their anguish and shame. What had they done in hacking and mutilating the dead remains of their mother's defilers? What purpose did it serve? Were they no better than orcs?

While Aragost remained with the stricken twins, the rest of the Dunedain patrol prepared the company for travel. For Elladan, the two-day ride home was a mind-numbing series of starts and stops, desperately caring for his battered mother, tending her wounds, and quieting her ravings with sleeping draughts. And then came the dreadful reunion with his father, the horror on Elrond's face as he beheld his ravaged wife and learned the truth of her ordeal, and the days and nights they spent at her side as Elrond searched and searched for her wounded spirit in the land of shadow.

A gentle touch on his shoulder brought him starting to his feet. "Elladan, are you unwell?" his father asked anxiously. "I . . . I . . . The girl, father, is she . . ." he bit back the rising panic in his voice. "Will she recover, Ada?" Elrond clasped his son firmly in his arms. "You are remembering your mother?" he asked as calmly as possible through the sudden tears that always rushed to the fore when he thought of his beloved Celebrían, long parted from his side by the broad expanse of the Sundering Sea.

With a broken sob, Elladan choked out, "Yes, Ada. The girl's eyes . . . they were just like hers . . . She didn't know me!" Elrond tightened his embrace and whispered, "But at length I did find your mother and bring her back from the shadow, and though she has been parted from us to seek healing for her spirit in the West, from Eldamar she watches over us, and her love is ever with us. Fear not, my son, the child will recover."

For a few moments, father and son comforted each other, and at length Elrond gently commented, "It sounds like your brother is exacting his revenge on the training grounds." Only then was Elladan aware that the crashes and clangs in the courtyard continued. "Yes, he will exhaust himself, and then find a private place to weep. Thorgil, the emissary, was a friend from Elrohir's fostering with Thranduil. And there were women slaughtered in the caravan as well. I had to restrain him, or he would have started in on the dead orcs. I should go to him."

"Give him a few more minutes. He's only mid-way through the course, and he will feel better once he has exhausted most of his strength. Are these papers from the caravan wreckage?" Elrond bent to retrieve the scattered parchment, and Elladan rushed to help him.

"Yes, Ada. I have not disturbed the seal on King Thranduil's letter, but I did glance through the dispatch and the caravan inventory. The dispatch confirms what we already know; Sauron is gathering more orcs and foul folk into Dol Guldur. The White Council should have listened to Mithrandir! The horrid spiders are multiplying in Mirkwood, and Thranduil's people are often harrassed by orcs and other creatures when they venture into the forest. The emissary's caravan, in addition to the excellent wine Thranduil always sends, also conveyed several talented artisans and musicians the King felt would be well placed in the halls of Rivendell. The child and her parents must be listed there. I did not have the . . . patience . . . to read further."

Elrond sighed, "Her name is Lindariel, and her voice is of surpassing beauty." Elladan looked wordlessly at his father in wonder. "Yes, in the land of shadow, I heard her singing . . . I saw the attack on the caravan through her eyes and her brief leave-taking with her mother before she was hidden in the chest." Elrond shook his head to dispel the memory, "Come, sit with me, and together we will find some answers."

At length, it was Thranduil's letter that best explained the child's presence in the caravan: "To my Lord Elrond, Half-Elven, Master of Imladris, Greetings! I trust that you will welcome the superior wine I have sent. It comes from one of our best vineyards and has aged in my cellars for nearly 75 years. Have a care when you serve it! It will go straight to the heads of those with lesser wit! I am also pleased to send to you several wonderful artisans and musicians, trusting that they will further your mission to preserve the lore and artifacts of the Elder Days and beautify your galleries and libraries. To that end, I beg you to welcome Lindion, a gifted lutenist, and his wife Camthilia, one of my best weavers, who brings to you a magnificent tapestry of her own design. Also with them is their daughter, Lindariel, who has both astonished and troubled my chief bard with her remarkable voice and early signs of unusual power. It is our great hope that she will be judged worthy to apprentice in the Hall of Fire, so that her gifts and powers may be properly trained and harnessed to the glory of the Valar."

"She is Sighted?" Elladan gasped, "So young?" Elrond nodded, "Yes, indeed. And she will need the most tender care to survive the shock of this loss." He pondered Thranduil's letter again, while surreptitiously observing his son. "Go calm your brother with some of Thranduil's excellent wine. It will help both of you to sleep. Tomorrow, I will find an active, worthy task for Elrohir away from the wreckage, and send others of our household with the Dunedain to finish tending the dead and securing the caravan. Elladan, if you will, I would have you sit with Estel and Gilraen tomorrow at Lindariel's bedside until she awakens. She may remember your face as her rescuer, and she may have seen Estel, as he followed me unwittingly into the land of shadow."

"Estel!" blurted Elladan, who instantly relaxed into fond laughter. "Well, the man-child continues to be full of surprises." Then, more soberly, "He held my horse for me when I arrived with the girl in my arms, and followed me all the way to the infirmary." Elrond nodded, "He remained at her side all day and into the evening, and then assisted me with the summoning -- more fully than I realized! Think, Elladan. The youngest elf child in Imladris is nearly ten years his senior. The sight of someone his own age in such terrible distress must have moved him very deeply."

The gentle smile that broke across his son's face conveyed his assent, "As you will, Ada. Let me go thrash some targets with Elrohir, and then we will both get drunk and have a good cry."
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Mar 20, 2009 5:52 pm

Thanks Lindariel. Wow, that's really powerful stuff! I'm already gripped by the story :D . It's also great to have Elrond's sons pulled into focus.
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:03 pm

Tolkien alludes to Elladan and Elrohir's long vendetta against the orcs after what happened to their mother, but we really don't get to know them at all in his tale. As you'll see when the story progresses, I have envisioned that they have each dealt with it in their own very different and perhaps not so psychologically healthy ways. "Am I no better than an orc?" remains a burning question for one of them and a source of deep concern for the family.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Riv Res
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Postby Riv Res » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:08 pm

Lindariel, these installments are wonderful. Tolkien wrote so much detail yet left so many holes to be filled. I would love to see Elladan and Elrohir become less of a mystery.

Give me more please. :D

ETA: Somewhere I will have to dust off my old story that I posted at WRoR and see how it plays here. :wink:
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Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:04 pm

OK, Riv! As you wish!



Mourning Has Broken

As always, the path through the ancient forest was almost completely overgrown and difficult to traverse through the dense, low-hanging branches, thick with lichen and vines and creepers that clung to her hair and clothing. Had it not been for the familiar, elusive voice that wove its siren song through the stifling air, she would have turned back long ago. But still it sang out her name, "Lindariel!" with increasing urgency, and she knew that if she could break through the last tangle of branches at the top of the hill, she would at last see the source of this marvelous voice.

"Lindariel!" She filled her lungs to cry out, "I'm coming, please wait!" but for some reason, she couldn't make a sound. Impatiently, she tore free from the restraining branches and clawed her way inch by inch through the thick web of vines and bushes at the summit of the long slope. She was almost there! One . . . last . . . stubborn . . . Ouch! . . . prickle bush . . . and


"Lindariel?" piped an unfamiliar voice. The vision faded to grey mist and then a soft, golden glow. "Mother! Elladan! She's waking up!" She heard the soft rustle of garments and the trickle of water being wrung from a cloth. Someone was bathing her face. Her eyes were closed! Where . . . ?

She slowly opened, then squinted her eyes against the soft glow of the bedside lantern. A strange, beautiful woman (of the Edain!) smiled and asked her softly, "Are you thirsty, my dear?" She nodded, staring in wonderment and confusion at the kind, but sad, face.

"Here you are! Here's some water!" cried a much younger voice, as a small boy (of the Edain!) leaned into view, nearly spilling the cup in his eagerness to be helpful. "Softly, softly, Estel!" chided the woman gently, as she helped him steady the cup to Lindariel's lips. The water was cool and sweet, and she drank eagerly, soon clutching the cup in both hands, surprised by her thirst.

"Would you like more?" asked the boy Estel, fairly quivering to be of service. "Oh, yes, hannon le," she whispered gratefully. The boy accepted the cup back from her with an enormous grin and sped across the room to a silver water pitcher resting on a gracefully carved ebony table. A tall, dark-haired elf man rose from his chair beside the table and fondly helped the boy manage the large pitcher. As Estel returned to Lindariel's side, the elf looked at the woman and said, "I will go find my father." Before turning to leave the room, he smiled at the girl and said, "I am glad to see you looking so much better, little one. Mae govannen!"

Noting Lindariel's confusion, the woman gently patted her hand and said, "We have been very worried about you my dear, but you are looking much better. I am Gilraen, and this is my son Estel. We are kindred of the Dunedain, living here in the fair dwelling of Lord Elrond, who is Estel's foster father."

"And that was Elladan, one of Lord Elrond's sons. He's my friend. You'll like him. He found you, and he's been with us all morning, waiting for you to wake up. Don't you want your water?" Lindariel stared at the boy's eager, anxious face, as his words rushed by almost in a single breath. Why did this strange boy seem so familiar?

Gilraen laughed gently and stroked her son's hair, "Give her time to breathe, my dear! She just awoke in a strange place. Lindariel, you must forgive Estel. There are few children here at Imladris, and none his age until you arrived. He is eager to make a new friend." The boy blushed and dipped his head for a brief moment before glancing back at Lindariel with a shy but glowing smile she couldn't help but return.

At that moment, the chamber door opened soundlessly, and Lindariel raised herself from the pillows, sensing the power of the elf lord Elrond before he followed Elladan into the room. She stared at him, the color slowly leaving her cheeks, and then gasping, she glanced wildly from one suddenly familiar face to another . . . Elladan's grim, tear-stained face, his arms reaching in to lift her gently from the chest . . . Gilraen's soft arms caressing her as she screamed . . . Lord Elrond's mighty presence in the midst of a swirling grey mist, his powerful voice drawing her towards the light . . . and the boy Estel standing behind his foster father, his soulful grey eyes full of concern, begging her silently to heed the summons . . . .

"Naneth! Ada! NO!" she screamed, as Lord Elrond rushed to lift her in his arms and carry her across the room, through a delicately arched alcove and into the private garden beyond. He stopped at the foot of an ancient live oak, whose great arched roots rose on either side to form a series of gracefully curved benches. Settling on the one closest to the massive trunk, Elrond wrapped the child softly in the folds of his long cloak and nestled her gently against his shoulder as she sobbed.

"Amin hiraetha, Lindariel. I am so sorry," he murmured. "Rest here and give voice to your grief, my little one. I will not leave you." Gradually, he reclined against the bole of the tree, and to his surprise, Lindariel threw one slender arm around his neck, and the other as far across the girth of the tree as she could reach, pressing her wet face between the bark and his cheek. He gasped as her broken sobs gave way to a haunting, wordless melody. The child was pouring out her grief into his ear and into the very heart of this grandfather of trees! Immediately, the great tree shivered as though moved by Lindariel's distress, and as her song grew in intensity, the ancient boughs swayed and then bent down around them as if to shield the child from further anguish.

Across the garden path, Elrond could see Gilraen, Estel, and Elladan in the archway, watching in stunned silence as Lindariel's beautiful lament rose and fell, rose and fell with the natural arc of her breath. With a final cry of anguish, the song sank back into the whimpering sobs of a grieving orphan, and her arms dropped to her sides as she sank down against Elrond's breast. The great oak swayed and straightened as she relinquished her touch.

Elrond gently stroked the child's gleaming hair and looked at her in wonderment as she raised her tear-soaked face and looked into his eyes. "Where are they, my Lord?" she asked brokenly. "I no longer see their spirit-selves in my inner eye."

The Master gazed intently into the child's swimming orbs, their depths still swirling back into the Far Plain of Irmo, where visions dwell. He took a deep breath and answered her simply and honestly, "The fëa of your parents Lindion and Camthilia dwell now in the Halls of Mandos, where they no longer know pain or grief. Perhaps they will await you there until your spirit can join them, or perhaps they will be reborn and return to Arda. Their bodies have been gently tended and laid to rest in the Glade of Memory here at Imladris, together with those of your caravan who also fell to the orcs. Tonight, if you are well enough, my household will gather with you in the Glade to sing their praises to Fanuilos and to ask Nienna for aid in our grief, for in this tragedy, we, too, have lost friends and loved ones."

He watched carefully as the swirling depths of Lindariel's eyes gradually receded and her thoughts returned to the present. She sighed raggedly and laid her wet face against his neck. "Come," he gently coaxed, "You should rest now and eat. We will all stay with you today for as long as you like." He gestured fluidly to Elladan, Gilraen, and Estel, who were slowly approaching from the garden alcove.

Elladan knelt at his father's feet and softly touched her hand, "If you need anything, Estel and I will go fetch it, won't we, man-child?" Estel beamed proudly at the tall elf, while Lindariel wondered why such a great warrior would trouble himself over a weaver's daughter. "And mother will cook wonderful things and tell us -- I mean you! -- stories about the Elder Days," piped Estel, blushing ever so slightly at his slip. Gilraen tousled his hair and added, "Lord Elrond is far more versed than I, and I believe Lindariel needs quiet company today, don't you, dear?"

"And what of tomorrow?" whimpered the child, her sobs threatening to return, "What is to become of me?" At this, the Lord of Imladris gathered her in a tight embrace, "Did you not know that your family was to live here in Rivendell? King Thranduil himself wrote to me, asking that you be apprenticed in the Hall of Fire. You will live here, of course, and I shall see that you are fostered with a loving family among my minstrels and singers."

With that, the Master rose and carried Lindariel gently back to her bed.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

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Postby Merry » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:32 pm

My memory is so bad in my old age that this is like reading a new story, Lindariel! I love the tree participating in and absorbing her grief.

One thing that I want to ask you about is the way that the sons of Elrond work out their anger. I would expect elves to do that in a more spiritual way. Do you have them behave in such a human way because they are half-elven, like their father?
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
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Postby Lindariel » Sat Mar 21, 2009 10:36 pm

Glad you're enjoying the process of becoming reacquainted with Lindariel's story, Merry!

The abduction, torture (and more than likely rape), rescue, and attempted healing of Celebrian, and the devastating impact of her ordeal and eventual departure into the West on Elrond and his family is something that I have wondered about for a long time. In Tolkien's canon, when elves choose to marry it is for life, which means basically for the entire existence of Arda. It is an exceptionally deep and spiritual commitment; the death of a spouse often causes the surviving spouse to "fade" and die as well, or to leave Middle-earth to seek healing and solace for their loss and await the release of their spouse from the Halls of Mandos.

The Elrond we meet in The Hobbit and LOTR has essentially been a widower and his children have been motherless for around 500 years. How is it that Elrond has survived the loss of his wife for so long? Is it the power of Vilya? Is it his human heritage? Is it the strain of the divine that he inherited as a descendant of Luthien and Melian?

Can we begin to imagine the horror and rage of Elladan and Elrohir after finding their mother beaten, ravaged, tortured, and poisoned in those horrid caves? I can only believe that she must have been completely raving mad by the time she was rescued. What did it do to them to see her so totally devastated? What might they do in response? We have only to remember the Kin-Slayings to know that full blooded elves do not always respond "spiritually" to rage and violence. Like their father, Elladan and Elrohir also have both human and Maiar blood in their make-up. How might this affect their response to such overwhelming horror and loss? What precisely is the nature of their centuries-long vendetta against the orcs?

Although Elladan and Elrohir are identical twins physically, I have envisioned them as having strongly different personalities -- almost like taking Elrond and splitting him in half. Elladan (Elf-Man) is the philosopher/statesman/healer/mystic, still an impressive warrior by necessity, but not favoring the martial arts -- cerebral, courtly, a thinker. Elrohir (Star Horse Lord) is the consummate warrior, general, tactician, horseman -- fiery, impulsive, a doer. He is probably without question the most formidable warrior in all of Middle-earth.

In my tale, after the blood-bath in the orc hold in which the twins essentially went mad for a stretch of time, Elladan is the one who has managed to process his grief and rage over Celebrian's ordeal (although he is still haunted by memories and nightmares from time to time), but Elrohir remains psychologically damaged. In battle, he tends to lose himself all over again, and only Elladan can bring him out of it and prevent him from repeating the episode in the cave all over again. Elrohir needs the constant raids against the orcs in order to manage his rage, and Elladan has to go with him as essentially his "handler." When he can't be out fighting orcs, Elrohir takes to the training grounds and his exceptionally difficult obstacle course to stay stable.

Elrond has been unable to help his son because Elrohir is either unwilling or unable to face the source of his deep pain. He is also completely unable to be around his grandmother Galadriel because of her strong resemblance to his mother. As you can imagine, over the centuries Elrohir's mental stability has been a cause of great concern for the family.

But have no fear, Elrohir does eventually find healing during the course of Lindariel's story. And no, she is not the source. But she is there to witness it. So the Elrohir we are currently about to meet is still running from his pain and taking out his rage in as suitable a fashion as he can manage. And Elladan suffers as his brother's keeper.

Hope that makes sense, Merry!
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Merry
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Postby Merry » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:45 am

I do remember now a long discussion at WRoR about whether or not orcs are capable of rape, since they were not made by sexual reproduction. (Pitiful that I remember that part of it and little else!)

If it wasn't rape, I wonder why Celebrian was taken. Orcs were made for a purpose, and one can't imagine them without a leader who is using them for that purpose. Was Celebrian taken for ransom? Or maybe in the hope that Elrond himself would come to rescue her and he could be attacked?

Anyway, I know that elves are capable of killing, obviously, but I guess I've always imagined even the Kin-slaying as somewhat less passionate in its violence than the wars of Men. I guess I've been seeing elves as more like Vulcans!
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Lindariel
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Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Postby Lindariel » Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:40 am

Interesting! That discussion must have taken place before I joined WROR, because I do not recall it, and I haven't come across anything concrete about how orcs are produced. Certainly, if you know of sources in HOME, which I now own but haven't had a chance to read in-depth, or elsewhere about this topic, please enlighten me!

I know from reading The Silmarillion that the first generation or so of orcs came from elves that Morgoth captured and tortured, mutilated, broke, altered, etc., (and that this, of all acts, was the most hateful in the sight of Eru Iluvatar) but I can't believe that ALL orcs were created/obtained this way. That's an awful LOT of elves to have to capture and take through what must be a long, hideous, and labor-intensive process. I would think that subsequent generations resulted from mating/breeding programs among the first several generations of ruined elves. Thus, orcs would be capable of rape.

Speaking of orcs, since they originated as ruined elves, do they also live as long as elves, i.e., unless killed, they will live until the End of Arda Marred? An interesting question!

As far as why Celebrian was taken, there certainly are many possibilities, and you mentioned two good ones -- ransom, and the hope that Elrond himself would come for her. It is also possible that she was sought by Sauron for the purposes of turning her into an orc. Letting his orcs have their way with her first would probably go a long way towards turning her, don't you think? And wouldn't the sight of Orc-Celebrian have been a particularly devastating and strategic blow against the two most powerful elves on the face of Middle-earth -- Elrond and Galadriel?

Then again, Celebrian might simply have been the victim of exceptionally bad luck -- her cortege just happened to run into a nasty band of orcs, and orcs being orcs, they did what orcs would do -- kill the warriors and make off with the "sport." Remember how the orcs referred to Merry and Pippin, wondering if they make particularly good "sport" -- makes me cringe just thinking of it.

As far as the Kin-Slayings are concerned, I guess my imagination must work differently from yours. When I read about the Kin-Slayings in The Silmarillion, they struck me as being about the most horrendously blood-thirsty events in the entire Tolkien canon -- elves attacking and killing other elves, Feanor's madness enflaming the Noldor to such unspeakable violence, slaughtering first the Teleri for their ships, then Dior and his people for Luthien's Silmaril, and then the slayings in Sirion that resulted in Elwing's desperate plunge to the Sea. No, I'm afraid I don't envision the elves handling rage and violence in a "spiritual" manner.

And speaking of Vulcans, remember that their dispassionate exterior masks a deeply and tightly controlled and passionately violent interior. So, even that analogy doesn't work for me!
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:02 am

Trusting that patience isn't always a virtue, here is installment #4! I should note of course that the Hymn to Elbereth and the Song of Firiel posted below are not my creations, but The Professor's. Anyone who is curious to know more about both of these poems should check out the thread on Tolkien's poetry for my posts on both of these beautiful poems.

Installment #5 is the actual visit to the Hall of Fire, which I posted earlier at Riv's request. Riv, should I repost it after this, so the story proceeds in order, or skip on to installment #6 next?


How Do You Solve A Problem Like Lindariel?

It took all of Amarthalion's patience and powers of concentration to quiet his inner spirit for the midnight invocation to Elbereth. But as the sweet strains rose from the sopranos into the vaulted ceiling of the Hall of Fire, Rivendell's Chief Bard utterly relaxed and joined in with the tenors as they smoothly entered into the polyphonic chanting of the sacred hymn:

A Elbereth Gilthoniel, silivren penna míriel o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel o galadremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon nef aear, sí nef aearon!


Through his inner eye, he joyfully immersed himself into the Far Plain and beheld the mystic vision of the Vala Elbereth in her guise as Fanuilos, the intercessor. From the slopes of Mount Oiolosse she appeared, a radiant vision veiled in sparkling, snowy white, her arms raised to receive the supplications of the Children of Ilúvatar. About her, he began to see a shimmering web as the individual voices from his choir wove their intricate strands of melody in a bright cascade of visible sound. Though he had made this mystic journey thousands of times in the more than ten millenia since he had awakened from his mother's womb, the vision of the Blessed Lady Everwhite always stabbed him anew with its indescribable beauty.

At last the vision faded, and he turned with a peaceful sigh to Mírwen, his principal chorister, and indicated with a subtle gesture that she should lead the next session. He quietly took his leave as a trio of apprentice minstrels began a setting of the Lay of Eärendil for voice, lute, and drum. With a slight grimace, he proceeded down the hallway towards Lord Elrond's study. The setting was certainly fine enough, but in his opinion, the grandeur of the epic tale required a fuller complement of instruments and voices to do it justice. However, it was a very long piece and provided an excellent opportunity for the less experienced minstrels to work on line, arc, and phrasing, as well as their powers of concentration, in a highly exposed piece that displayed even the minutest error or lapse in focus.

His pace quickened as he passed through the outer vestibule, with a brief bow to the chamberlain on duty, and into the Master's private wing. What would be Lord Elrond's decision concerning the recent arrival? He paused outside the archway, but before he could tap respectfully for admittance, the Master's resonant baritone called pleasantly, "Do come in, my friend."

Elrond was already on his feet to offer the Chief Bard a glass of his favorite wine and a chair by the hearth. "Hannon le, Elrond Peredhel! I am at your service!" Amarthalion accepted both gratefully and drank deeply of the marvelous vintage before asking the question that had danced eagerly on his lips all evening, "My Lord, what can you tell me about this remarkable child?"

"Indeed!" mused Elrond, "where to begin?" As he recounted the tragedy that had brought the child to Imladris, the Master noted how, at every turn, Lindariel had astonished him -- from her unusual red hair, to the hidden depths of her wide-staring eyes, to the unforgettable lament in his garden and the unexpected response it elicited from the tree.

During the evening incantation in the Glade of Memory, everyone had been moved with pity for the tiny, beautiful child with the ruby tresses. But few were prepared for the glory of Lindariel's voice as she intoned with them the supplication to Nienna. Then, as the host of Rivendell prepared to return to the hall, she startled them all by raising her arms and her voice to the firmament and pouring forth the haunting Quenya masterpiece, the Song of Fíriel!

The Father made the World for Elves and Mortals
and he gave it into the hands of the Lords: They are in the West.
They are holy, blessed, and beloved: save the dark one.
He is fallen. Melkor has gone from Earth: it is good.
For Elves they made the Moon, but for Men the red Sun,
which are beautiful. To all they gave in measure the gifts
of Ilúvatar. The world is fair, the sky, the seas,
the earth, and all that is in them. Lovely is Middle-Earth.
But my heart resteth not here forever,
for here is ending, and there will be an end and the Fading,
when all is counted, and all numbered at last,
but yet it will not be enough, not enough.
What will the Father, O Father, give me
in that day beyond the end when my Sun faileth?


Of course, as she was the chief mourner present, none questioned Lindariel's right to raise up a lament of her own choosing. But, no one had expected a child so young and so deeply aggrieved to sing at all, let alone to choose this difficult piece, one of the last the apprentice singers study before undertaking their rite of passage into the journeyman circle. She did stumble over the words from time to time, her voice breaking with emotion, but there was no doubt that she sang with power, conviction, and comprehension a song that should have been beyond the capacity of a five-year-old elf maiden.

When the last plaintive phrase melted into the darkness, it was Elladan who stepped forward nimbly to catch Lindariel up as she staggered, exhausted from her effort, and laid her gently in his father's arms after imparting a tender kiss to her brow. As if in response to the unspoken question in Elrond's mind, she murmured to him, "It was Ada and Naneth's favorite song," before closing her eyes on her silent tears.

Amarthalion skimmed quickly through Thranduil's letter and let out an uncharacteristic snort, "Troubled his chief bard, indeed! I would imagine that Lachlindor knew quite well he would be completely out of his depth with a Sighted five-year-old, and Thranduil saw the caravan as an opportunity to relocate an oddity that frightened his court. If your episode with the oak is any indication, I can well believe that unexpected things happened from time to time that could be traced to her singing. My Lord, do you think it is possible the child could be one of the Fëalindar -- a Spirit Singer? It would explain her precocious Sight and the power of her voice. There have been very few in all the ages of this world, the most renowned being Luthien the Fair. It may also explain why the caravan was attacked so far east of the Misty Mountains. Her latent power could have troubled Durin's Bane beneath Caradhras, whose unrest would have sent the orc battalion to destroy the source of that power."

"You may well be right, my friend, but it is far too soon to tell." Elrond mused, "The question before us is how best to nurture this budding prodigy so that her gifts are brought forward in due season without overwhelming her young mind before its time. My heart yearns to undertake her fostering myself, but this would create discord among the less broad-minded here in Imladris as well as within Thranduil's court because she is not of noble lineage. There are also my obligations to the Dunedain concerning Estel, though if the choice were up to him, he would be eager to have a foster-sister. Would Mírwen and her husband welcome Lindariel into their home?"

Amarthalion's eyes lit up with pleasure, "I have no doubt they would consider it a great honor and blessing, my Lord. They have long wanted a child, and Mírwen has shown herself to be particularly skilled with the young apprentices. Calabor would doubtless delight to share his gift with fine woods, especially when it is time for Lindariel to learn how to craft her own instruments. As for her tutelage, we should begin working with her in the Hall of Fire as soon as you determine she has recovered from her ordeal. Our youngest student is fifteen, and in some areas Lindariel's skills already outstrip all but the most advanced of the apprentices. Nonetheless, she should practice the fundamentals and attend the invocations with the young ones, but I shall personally undertake her instruction in the disciplines of the Far Plain."

At that moment, Elladan quietly entered, only to stop abruptly at the sight of the Bard. "Your pardon, Master Amarthalion, I am sorry to disturb your counsel, but perhaps it is fortuitous. Father, the singing from the hall awakened her, and she is asking for you."

Elrond rose and gestured for the Bard to accompany him. "Perhaps it is time for you to meet your new pupil," he smiled.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
Uinen
Posts: 2339
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:11 pm

I've only got as far as part 3 (I'll have to come back for part 4).

I'll have to go back and reaquaint myself with the snippets Tolkien gave us about Elladan and Elrohir, their mother and Elrond. I'd forgotten much of their history!

I always thought that the rumoured transforming of Elves into Orcs was very much a thing of the very distant history of Middle-earth and that with Morgoth's passing out of the world, all that ended (if not long before as by the Battle of Unnumbered Tears captured elves were killed or enslaved). The Orcs came from captured Elves that fell lost by the wayside during the long marches to the western sea, before the sailing for Valinor. I've always imagined that latter day orcs were bred many generations from those early abominations. It begs the question, who captured the lost elves that never made the journey. As there were no orcs to do the work..... :lol: .

It's also a good question about their possible elf-inherited immortality though!!!! I wonder if Tolkien ever addressed that one.

I loved part three, Lindariel, with the little girl singing out her pain. I can identify with the healing need for that. I'll post again when I've read part 4 :D .
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